Academic Ethics and Integrity

Members of an academic community have a responsibility to present work that is truly their own. Cheating and plagiarizing the work of others are serious offenses that undermine the spirit of truth in all areas of college life.

It is the responsibility of the instructor in a particular class to clarify specific applications of the Academic Ethics Policy.

  1. Plagiarism
    Plagiarism is intentionally or unintentionally using someone else’s words or thoughts,
    without giving proper credit. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    1. A direct quotation must be acknowledged and documented properly. The sources of information must be outlined in a list of works cited.
    2. The source of all paraphrased or summarized material must be acknowledged.
    3. The work of others, whether in the form of ideas, laboratory results, artistic work, computer programs, etc., must be acknowledged.
    4. False or misleading citations of sources constitute plagiarism.
  2. Cheating
    Cheating is attempting to present as one’s own, work that one has not performed, or using improper means to pass an examination. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    1. The sharing of unauthorized information regarding specific content of examinations is not allowed, nor is the use of books, notes or other material without the instructor’s permission.
    2. The discussion of any aspect of the examination before all students have completed it.
    3. Students may not speak or otherwise communicate with one another in English or any other language or manner during an examination.
    4. A student may not submit work she has not done herself. This includes papers, projects, homework assignments, computer programs, etc.
    5. Submission of the same paper or assignment, or material portions thereof, for more than one course is not allowed, except by both instructors’ approval and in accordance with criteria established by each of them.
    6. The falsification of research data.
    7. Preventing student or faculty access to course material. This includes mutilating or stealing library material or disabling computer equipment or databases.
    8. Using electronic devices such as cell phones or calculators to store information or materials that are not authorized by the instructor.
  3. Other violations may include:
    1. Failure to follow any other explicit regulation or expectation announced by the instructor, and/or circulated to each student, is a violation of the Academic Ethics Policy. It is the responsibility of the student to confer with an instructor when procedures are unclear.
    2. It is a violation of the Academic Ethics Policy to falsify a signature on any official College document.
    3. It is a violation of the Academic Ethics Policy to alter the contents and/or intent of any official College document.
    4. It is a violation of the Academic Ethics Policy to intentionally or knowingly help or attempt to help another to violate any provision of this policy.
  4. Rights and Responsibilities
    1. Student Rights
      1. Students have the right to be treated fairly, impartially and promptly in matters related to Academic Ethics.
      2. If a student disagrees with a faculty member’s actions under the Academic Ethics Policy, and is unable to arrive at a satisfactory resolution in discussions with that faculty member, she has the right to request in writing a hearing before the Academic Ethics Council. Procedures for Academic Ethics Council hearings are available from the offices of Academic Affairs and the Registrar.
    2. Student Responsibilities
      1. Students must sign a statement during registration indicating that they have read, understand and will abide by the Academic Ethics Policy.
      2. Students have the responsibility to adhere to appropriate rules of documentation.
      3. Students have the responsibility to notify an instructor of any knowledge of suspected academic dishonesty and are responsible for informing a faculty member or an academic administrator of alleged violations. The student should also expect the instructor to uphold the Academic Ethics Policy and to follow the procedures described below.
    3. Faculty Responsibilities
      Faculty must enforce the regulations and procedures in the Academic Ethics Policy, and take appropriate action in case of violations, as briefly described below.
    4. Faculty Procedures
      The faculty member first meets with the student suspected of violating the Academic Ethics Policy in order to determine the facts of the situation and to hear the student’s explanation. If the faculty member believes an infraction has occurred, within five business days of meeting with the student he or she then writes a letter to the student summarizing the incident, the discussion, and any action the faculty member has decided to take.
      The letter should include any relevant dates, and a reminder of the student’s right to appeal the faculty member’s decision. The letter should also provide a space for the student to sign her name, indicating that she has received, read and understands the contents of the letter. An envelope with a return address to the Faculty member or the Registrar should be provided. The faculty member may want to convene a second meeting with the student to personally deliver the letter; otherwise it may be sent through campus mail, or through the US Postal Service with return receipt requested (this option may be preferable for commuter students). A copy of the signed letter must be sent in a sealed, dated envelope to the Registrar for placement in the student’s official file. If the student does not return a signed letter, a copy of the unsigned letter should still be provided to the Registrar’s office. Letters detailing academic ethics violations are removed and destroyed upon the student’s completion of the Baccalaureate degree, or six years after she has left the College.
      Should the student be the subject of more than one letter involving violations of the Academic Ethics Policy, the Academic Ethics Council will be convened automatically. Previous offenses, if any, will only be considered as factors in determining a penalty.
    5. Academic Ethics Council Hearing Requests
      If the student disagrees with the contents of the faculty member’s letter or wishes to appeal the faculty member’s decision, she may then request that the matter be considered by the Academic Ethics Council by submitting a written request to the Office of the Vice President of the College within five days of the faculty member’s letter.
      A hearing of the Academic Ethics Council will be convened upon such dispute. Notice of the hearing shall be sent to a College official who is designated by the College as a Student Advisor for the purposes of Academic Ethics Council hearings. The role of the Student Advisor is to review with the student the procedures to be followed by the Academic Ethics Council and to provide support during the hearing if the student requests that the Student Advisor do so.
      Hearing procedures are available from the Office of the Dean of the College.
    6. Course Withdrawal
      A student may not withdraw from a course to prevent action under the Academic Ethics Policy.